- September 28, 2018
Welcome to The Infants Home's weekly news roundup.
Last Friday small group of children in our Gorton Infants Program were engaged in manipulating clay in many different ways. They all enjoyed squishing, squeezing, pulling and pushing the clay. We gave them some water as the clay started to dry and they loved the slippery feeling that the addition of the water created. It was a rich sensory experience for all of the children. Clay is fantastic for further developing the children’s fine motor skills and their hand-eye coordination. This was a very soothing and calming experience for the children, and they spent nearly half an hour exploring and manipulating the clay.
Some additional benefits of using clay include:
Painting is an experience in Johnson House which is thoroughly enjoyed. To diversify this interest we set up the art space in the sandpit. This offered the children a different space to explore art. The space was designed to accommodate children who like to stand and paint, children who prefer to sit at the easel and others who wanted to join peers at the table. Thinking about such elements in the environment helps us to ensure the space is inclusive for all and accommodates every child’s needs and interests. As the children painted, they could draw on inspiration from a collection of well-known artists’ works as well as those of their peers, and also from the colour palettes we had displayed. As the week progressed the children were showing increased confidence in exploring art, and engaging with peers about what they were creating and revisiting the space regularly with new creative ideas. Art gives children opportunities to explore, experiment, design and create in limitless ways, helping them to build on their creative thinking skills, patience and determination.
What Colour Can you See?
The children are very confident in recognising primary colours and some secondary colours. To extend the children's interest in learning about colours, the Educators introduced the light box and some new coloured blocks and coloured liquid shakers for the children to explore. The children were fascinated to observe the blocks on top of the light box and discover the colour change. The children were also interested in discovering that some of the objects, such as the small buttons, were opaque. The children also had the opportunity to learn some new words to describe colour.
What's next? The Educators plan to continue to offer the children opportunities to investigate the light box and different shapes and colours on top of it. The Educators will also continue to discuss with children the scientific concepts that they are investigating as they engage in playing with colour and light.
The children in our infants’ room have been interested in exploring movement and gravity. They often ask their Educators to throw balls onto the sunshade, so that they can watch the balls roll down slowly in many directions, and then cheer excitedly as they drop off the edge. Following this interest, and intentionally supporting children to use their independence, we set up a mini sail using a large piece of fabric, which we tied around the tree at the children’s height. Soon the children excitedly took turns to throw the balls on top of the fabric and watched them come rolling down. They also used their problem-solving skills to get the balls out of the fabric when they got stuck - some children cleverly stood underneath the fabric to push the stuck balls up from beneath. Some of the children also walked under the fabric, enjoying the feel of it, as well as visually exploring the shades of the fabric used.
The children in Robinson House have been exploring dinosaurs and getting in touch with nature by rearranging logs, sticks and rocks to create a small ‘dinosaur world’. When one of the children felt our area needed a pterodactyl, a family donated one to us. The children noted that the pterodactyl needed to fly, and together we problem-solved how we could possibly make our pterodactyl toy fly. After a few trial and error attempts, and some welcome family involvement, we have set up a pulley flying fox system that allows the children to move the pterodactyl up to its nest and, to then let go so that it can fly back independently. This whole process has given the children the opportunity to explore weight concepts, scientific design, and social concepts in setting goals for play and following through until these have been achieved. This is another example of how our families, children and educators have been working together on interest-based learning through play at Robinson house. A big thank you to the Bouf family for their contributions and support for this experience.
At the Randwick family day care hub we went for a walk to the adjacent environmental park and collected natural materials. The children looked for “interesting nature things” to put in the buckets they were using to collect these items, and Riley found a fallen branch from a wattle tree. We brought our found treasures back to our garden and created a nature sculpture on the fence. Hugh commented that “it looks like a wind chime’’ and Eva thought that the hanging pods would be a good place for the bugs to sleep – a natural hammock! We shall keep adding to our sculpture as we find more materials.
Are you, or is someone you know looking for childcare? The Infants' Home currently has vacancies across all age groups and is enrolling now. Call today on (02) 9799 4844 to find out more, or see here.
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